February 9, 1914 – Animator, Imagineer, and Disney Legend Bill Justice is Born
“[Bill Justice] was a great animator, particularly on the short subject. He was as good as they came.” – Disney Legend X Atencio
On February 9, 1914, William Barnard Justice was born in Dayton, Ohio. After studying at the John Herron Art Institute, he headed to California and joined the Disney Studios in 1937, working as an animator. His many credits during his early years include Saludos Amigos, Victory Through Air Power, and The Three Caballeros. In the 1950s, he was given a chance to explore more experimental types of animation, creating several memorable shorts with fellow Disney Legend X Atencio and artist T. Hee using the stop-motion technique that include A Symposium On Popular Songs, and Noah’s Ark, which were nominated for Academy Awards. He also helped with the stop-motion technique on live action films The Parent Trap and Mary Poppins. In his career as an animator, Justice had 57 short films and 19 animated feature film credits to his name. In 1965, Walt Disney asked Justice to work with Walt Disney Imagineering, and his talents were used on popular attractions Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, and The Hall of Presidents. Justice was also asked to help design parades, and created the sketches for what would become the Main Street Electrical Parade. In 1972, Justice retired from Disney after a 42-year career. He continued to be a presence around Disney fans, appearing at Disneyana conventions and writing a book called Justice for Disney about his experiences at the studio. In 1996, he was honored as a Disney Legend. He passed away in 2011 at the age of 97.